Playtime & Toys
Are there playpens big enough for 1-year-olds?
Q: My grandchild will soon turn 1. I want to stay outside with him on the days I watch him, but a regular playpen would be too small for him. Could you suggest something else? I have seen large plastic block things, but I don’t know what they’re called or where to get them.
Submitted by Bobbie in Harrison
A:Kathleen Alfano, Ph.D.
I’m not familiar with the product you mentioned. However, if you find something that fits your needs, make sure that it meets the safety guidelines of the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
When you’re with your grandson, make a point to set boundaries based on physical locations, such as “the edge of the grass” or “the big tree in the grass.” Even 1-year-olds can be taught to stay within certain boundaries.
Also, because your grandson is at the age where he loves to explore, do a safety check around the yard, making sure he can’t get into things he shouldn’t. Protecting him from too much sun exposure while he’s outside is important as well. Sunscreen and a large beach umbrella, or some other form of shade, will protect your grandson from the sun’s harmful rays.
Lastly, provide your grandson with a variety of fun toys to keep him interested, which will make the time you spend with him extra enjoyable.